Donald Trump says he had "nothing to do" with Mike Pence's decision to stay in Doonbeg
Pence's visit is now under investigation.
Donald Trump has denied Mike Pence's own chief of staff Marc Short's account that Pence stayed at the Trump Doonbeg resort at the "suggestion" of the president.
Pence, who visited last week, based himself at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Doonbeg Ireland, 254km from the Phoenix Park.
Writing on Twitter earlier on Monday afternoon, Trump contradicted Pence's spokesman: "I had nothing to do with the decision of our great Mike Pence to stay overnight at one of the Trump owned resorts in Doonbeg, Ireland. Mike’s family has lived in Doonbeg for many years, and he thought that during his very busy European visit, he would stop and see his family!"
House Democrats in Congress are now investigating the visit, as they seek to ascertain whether Trump is becoming personally enriched by state visits that take place at established owned by his companies, and whether this violates the US Constitution.
Elijah Cummings, a senior Democratic congressman and chair of the United States House Committee on Oversight and Reform, said: "The committee does not believe that US taxpayer funds should be used to personally enrich President Trump, his family, and his companies."
I had nothing to do with the decision of our great @VP Mike Pence to stay overnight at one of the Trump owned resorts in Doonbeg, Ireland. Mike’s family has lived in Doonbeg for many years, and he thought that during his very busy European visit, he would stop and see his family!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 9, 2019
Mike Pence has defended the decision to stay in Doonbeg as logical, citing the Clare town as "the very hometown of [my] mother's grandmother." Pence also claimed the resort was able to "accommodate the unique footprint that comes with our security detail and other personnel."
Pence met with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Dublin, which is on Ireland's opposite coast.
Trump himself stayed in Doonbeg during a brief stop here earlier this year, and met with Varadkar at Shannon Airport. NBC found that Trump has spent 295 days of his first 965 days as president in his own hotels.